Cuddington | Buckinghamshire

Cudddington Gardening Club

A friendly and sociable club for people who enjoy visiting gardens, who like gardening, but are not necesssarily experienced gardeners

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Download the December 2018 Newsletter


Hyde Hall 

Midsummer Murmurings

Midsummer’s Day is fast approaching and we have been having the weather to match.  On Wednesday, 13th June 38 members and friends visited Hyde Hall for the club’s summer outing.  The day dawned bright and sunny, there were no hold ups on the M25 and our coach driver drove his coach as if it was a gold plated Rolls Royce.  The gardens were looking lovely, the roses were looking especially beautiful and there were just a few weeds to make us all feel that we too could have an RHS garden.  One thing I appreciated was that most of the plants, shrubs and trees were named; something that Wisley and Kew could emulate.  The staff too were friendly and very helpful and the mobility buggy was most comfortable!!  The day was long, but everybody seemed to enjoy themselves enormously.

A very big thank you to Thelma for organising such an enjoyable and successful outing.  Hup and on to the next one!

Upcoming Events

Edwin Rye’s garden in Wendover on Monday, 9th July at 6.30 pm.  Information from Carol Hayward tel: 292295 or

Cuddington Fete – CGC Plant Stall.  We still need: plants, pots, garden tools, all kinds of garden paraphernalia, books – you name it we would like it!  Also HELP on the day to set up the stall, to sell and then to dismantle the stall.  Many hands make for light work so please put your name down with Gilly tel: 292650 or

There will be no club evenings in July or August.  If anyone is interested in a club garden tea or BBQ (no-one so far?) then send Jennifer an email: and we will see what we can do.

Something to look forward to:

Thursday 20th September: Afternoon visit (leaving at 12.30 pm) to Kathy Brown’s Garden at the Manor House, Stevington in Bedfordshire.  Cost £20 to include coach, entrance to the garden, a guided tour and tea and cake.  Details will be circulated towards the end of July.  Contact: Jennifer

We will be having a “Gardeners Question Time and Advice on Putting our Gardens to Bed”

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy summer and may the weather continue as is!  Be happy, relax and keep gardening!

Best wishes, Jennifer

Edwin Rye   Photo: Angela Sanderson 

April Meeting – Edwin Rye

Jennifer welcomed Edwin and Pam Rye to the club’s April meeting for a return visit.  Edwin gave us a very entertaining talk on “Seasonal Plants with a bit of colour thrown in!” In fact, there was a great deal of wonderful colour “thrown in”, Edwin’s talk being illustrated by the plants themselves in flower, by picked flowers and/or large photographs which we could pass around.  Here are just a few highlights:

A characteristic shared by many of the plants Edwin spoke of was the ease with which they can be grown and their good value for money.  Take Iris unguicularis (formerly Iris stylosa): it loves dry, poor soil.  Shove it next to a wall in full sun and it will flower its head off.  Edwin’s iris started flowering last October, and when he and his wife, Pam, recently returned from a trip to South Africa, it had more than 100 flowers!  Then there’s the Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris).  Although it looks tender, the purple form is actually a British native and grows in meadows near Royston in Cambridgeshire.

Another theme for winter interest was evergreen plants or plants with interesting winter foliage.  Cyclamen hederifolium with its marbled, ivy-shaped leaves (which follow its autumn flowers) provides attractive ground cover for the winter months.  Many evergreen shrubs also reward us with deliciously scented winter flowers over a long flowering season, like Daphne odora;  Sarcococca with its tiny, very fragrant white flowers, Mahonia japonica’s lily-of-the-valley-scented flowers still flowering after starting in October; the birds love its black berries which follow the flowers.  Edwin explained that many winter-flowering shrubs are so fragrant because they have to work harder to attract what few pollinators are about in winter/early spring.

One of Edwin’s many good tips was that the plants you have in your garden are not as important in themselves as the way in which you combine them.  Ligularia dentata, whose attractive bronze-tinted leaves with their shiny, magenta undersides are already emerging, makes a good foil for tulip “Queen of the Night”. 

Anyone who missed the talk might like to know the money Edwin receives for his talks goes towards a project he and Pam support in South Africa, which provides a crèche and after-school club for 75 shanty-town children.  The school enables parents to work full-time, while the children benefit from having a meal and somewhere to do their homework undisturbed, play games or pursue pastimes such as drama or pottery.

Moira Dlugosz


June Meeting – A Blaze of Glory

Maria Allen writes: “On the evening of 12th June, Jennifer our chairman welcomed Timothy Walker to the club to give us a talk entitled ‘A Blaze of Glory – colour in the garden from early Autumn through to the beginning of Winter’.  I cannot think of a better way to spend my birthday!  Timothy used to be Director of the Oxford Botanical Gardens, but is now a tutor and lecturer at Somerville College in Biological Sciences.

“Tim treated us to a wonderfully informative and amusing talk.  First he took us on a whistle stop tour around most of the world and introduced us to many beautiful shrubs, some we knew, all displaying glorious autumn colours.  All through the talk he entertained us with amusing anecdotes about his family or people he had met throughout his long gardening career.  We finished our tour in the British Isles, more particularly in the Oxford Botanical Gardens, with his splendid photographs illustrating how the Gardens had changed over the years.  He gave us some very good advice – I identified a climber “Mina Lobata” that had died in my own garden; but thanks to Timothy, I now know the plant’s name and I can replace it!

“Some of the plants suited to this time of year, are the snowflake ‘Acis’, as well as the many varieties of snowdrops; numerous varieties of asters (that some of us still call Michaelmas daisies), especially those that don’t suffer from mildew and leaf-drop; a great range of chrysanthemums, dahlias, and roses which flower more than once but which will need to be dead-headed.  Actually, many of these plants have flowered or are flowering already!  Anyway, most of us just wanted to go home and redesign our gardens, particularly looking forward to shopping for all of Timothy’s suggestions and inspiring ideas.  I wrote to thank Timothy for coming to talk to us and he replied saying he had thoroughly enjoyed his visit to the club.  Why not let us know what you think?”    Maria Allen

Timothy’s slides were terrific and his talk was given without the aid of any notes.  The time flew by and I was quite surprised when the talk ended.  Most members present, and we had a very good turnout this time, have commented on how much they enjoyed the evening, although one or two of you didn’t appreciate the humorous asides – they were a bit numerous! 

Timothy introduced us to the Wimbledon Chop (or Cut?), which I must say I have never heard of before, but which seems comparable to the Chelsea Chop only it takes place (yes, you’ve got it) around the beginning of Wimbledon.  I am not quite sure what happens now that Wimbledon begins a week later to give tennis players more time to rest after the French Open; does one get a week longer to do the Chop?  I forgot to ask!  But a good idea if this heat continues, but by then we will probably be having floods?

Timothy has many other talks on differing subjects, and I have already been approached by members who would like us to invite him again sometime in the future.

Forthcoming Events – Guests most welcome

Saturday, 8th July: The village Fête and our club’s plant stall.  Although I realise that many of you are involved with other stalls, we do need helpers to prepare the stall, man the stall and clear up afterwards.  We also still need plants to sell.  Only a few days to go now!  

Unfortunately we have not been able to arrange a speaker for July;  perhaps the plant stall is enough for ordinary mortals!

August is a month off for the Gardening Club committee and its members.  But maybe…?

Sunday, 3rd September: A visit to Adwell House and the Rare Plant Fair being held there.

Monday, 11th September: We have the daughter of Rosemary Verey, Davina Wynne Jones, coming to talk to us about herbs and the herb garden she has created close to her mother’s famous house and garden, Barnsley House, where Davina was brought up.

As I write, it is very warm, hot might be more appropriate.  So do take care with gardening in this heat.  A siesta in the afternoon and work in the evening as many southern Europeans do is to be recommended.  Even the bind weed is growing more slowly, is this just an illusion?  I look forward to seeing you all at the Fête. 

With best wishes, and keep in the shade,


May Meeting

Joy Craig, the speaker for May who was to talk to us about fuchsias, had cancelled due to a bereavement in her family.  However, the chairman said she was delighted to welcome Kathy Brown from Shevington in Bedfordshire to talk about “Clematis and other Climbers”, and warmly thanked her for stepping in at such short notice. 

Caroline Thompson thanked Kathy on behalf of the members and has written the following:

“At the May meeting, Kathy Brown from The Manor House in Shevington near Bedford gave an illustrated talk on “Clematis and Other Climbers”, based on experiences in her own garden and with superb pictures of her plants.

“Kathy discussed some of the different groups of Clematis: Alpinas, Macropetalas and Koreanas to name a few; taking each group through the season of growing times based on varieties she grows in her garden.  She spoke about the vigour of different varieties – flowering abundance, size, shape and colour together with the growing position and support needed.  Kathy showed other climbers and plants growing alongside clematis to show different colour combinations.  Her pictures were stunning, showing to great advantage the different effects and close-ups with much detail showing colour, shape and arrangement of flower parts.

“Kathy’s talk was based on her own garden which is open to the public – see for lots of information and pictures.  Kathy is also experienced in container gardening and growing and using edible flowers amongst other subjects.  As a good number of members were keen to visit Kathy’s garden, the Committee has promised to plan a visit either in the late summer this year or in the spring/early summer of next year.  Jennifer will contact Kathy and see what can be arranged.  Should you like this idea, let Jennifer know!”                    Caroline T.


I look forward to seeing you all on 12th June for Timothy Walker’s talk (Timothy has been the Director of the Oxford Botanic Gardens) and very much hope you will also join our visit to The Savill Garden in Windsor on 25th June, which promises to be a most enjoyable day out.  We really did need the rain, but please don’t do the “rain dance” on these two dates!

Keep listening to the weather forecasts and remember to check greenhouses

for plants that may need water!

With very best wishes and enjoy your gardening!


Chairman Jennifer Schram de Jong presents the outgoing secretary Rosemary Bradbury with life membership of the Club 

News of the AGM and Future Events

Jennifer welcomed 29 members to the 24th AGM and apologies were received from six.  The 2017 committee was elected as follows:  Jennifer Schram de Jong – Chairman, Simon Barker – Hon Treasurer, Thelma Parry – Membership Secretary.   Members: Maria Allen, Jean Barker, Gilly Cottman, Jeanne Oke, Lynne Rhodes and Maryon Pates.  Club finances were good and annual subscriptions will remain at £10.00.

Rosemary Bradbury, Charlotte Cooper and Yvette Digby stepped down and were thanked for their contributions to club life.  Jennifer told members she had known Rosemary for nearly 30 years, serving with her on the first committee with Sue Lyddiatt our founding Chairman.  Rosemary was Social Secretary for four years; she has now completed a further seven years as Hon. Secretary.  The Committee felt very strongly that over the years, Rosemary had done so much for the club, both while on the committee and as a member, that she should be given a token of special recognition.  Jennifer presented Rosemary with a certificate giving her honorary life membership of the club – the first member to receive this honour which is thoroughly deserved.  Jennifer, in thanking Rosemary, told her that she would be sorely missed by everyone, especially herself!

Jennifer reported that the club had enjoyed another varied and interesting year of speakers, visits to lovely gardens, a pleasant wine and cheese party at Elsie’s and a very lively January Social.  She said, with the club celebrating its silver anniversary, that she hoped our silver year would be just as good.

Members were told of plans to hold a celebratory 25th anniversary lunch in the autumn in the Bernard Hall.  The firm date of Sunday, 15th October has now been arranged.

Jennifer thanked the committee for all its hard work and the members who faithfully continue to support the club in all its undertakings.  The club had been extremely near to closure and without enthusiastic and supportive members there would surely be no club.

Diary of Forthcoming Events

Monday 13th March – Mr. Brian Fisher returns to talk about “The Potager’s Garden; Incorporating Attractive Edible Plants into the Ornamental Garden and Containers”.  Please come and support this particular event as it will form part of Brian Fisher’s final year of lecturing before he retires.

Monday, 10th April – Mrs. Margaret Easter will talk to us about Growing Herbs for the Garden

Monday, 8th May – Ms. Kathy Brown will talk about Clematis and Other Climbers

Monday 15th May – Visit to Penns Nursery in Longwick – sadly this event has been postponed

Monday, 15th May – Christian Aid Plant Stall and Bring and Buy – plants needed!

Saturday, 8th July – CGC Plant Stall at the Village Fete – help and all manner of plants etc. needed


January Social Evening 2017

At the January Social Evening, James and Elsie Frost were presented with two faux lead containers, an engraved posy vase together with gardening vouchers, to mark Elsie’s retirement as Chairman after 10 years in the position and James’ support.

They would sincerely like to thank members for all their good wishes and generous gifts.

New Membership Application Form

The new 2017 Membership Form for the Gardening Club is now available and can be found here.

Membership is just £10 a year. Concessions are available.  To renew your membership or to join the Gardening Club, please print and complete the form and return it to the address shown by 31st January 2017.

The Gardening Club meet on the 2nd Monday of the month in the Clubhouse on the Playing Field.  For further details please contact Jennifer Schram de Jong, Chair at:


Pre-Christmas Meeting 5th December

The next meeting of the Gardening Club takes place on Monday, 5th December, 7.30 pm in the playing field clubhouse.  There will be a demonstration of Christmas table decorations by Jackie and Jill from our local nursery, Penns in Longwick.  These will be raffled off at the end of the evening.  Mulled wine (or soft drink) and mince pies will be served.

Visitors are very welcome, just turn up!  Cost to non-members is £2.

Howard Drury 

Howard Drury at the November Meeting

Howard Drury, garden writer and broadcaster, gave us a very professional powerpoint presentation entitled “Fifty Years of the Very Best Gardening Tips" from his long experience as a horticultural adviser.

He covered a wide variety of topics such as pruning, composting and planting up containers. He also introduced us to the latest battery operated mowers and hedge cutters as well as showing us how to deter squirrels from reaching the bird feeders.

We all learnt something from this very entertaining evening!


October Meeting

Jonathan Ford, a landscape architect and garden designer, gave a very good presentation on some of his work in and around Oxford.  He concentrated on four gardens, two of them in a town location, a courtyard garden and a grand estate – Glympton Park near Woodstock (see photo).

In designing a garden he stressed the need for good design, meeting the needs and wishes of his clients as well as considerations such as on-going maintenance and neighbourliness.

It was an instructive talk, relevant to our own gardens and very well attended.


September Meeting

Our speaker, Andrew Mikolajaski, gave an interactive talk on jobs that need to be done in the garden at this time of the year, e.g. weeding, cutting back and composting.  Now is the time to assess your planting and decide what needs to be moved and what needs dividng.  Members were encouraged to ask questions and so, all in all, it was a very informative evening.

The winners of this year’s “Single Stem from your Garden Competition” were Jennifer Schram de Jong with a Pelargonium and Rose Dare-Hansen with an Eryngium – see photograph.

Cheese and Wine Party

James and Elsie Frost hosted the Gardening Club’s Cheese and Wine party at The Old Rectory on Monday 18th July.

Around 45 members and friends enjoyed a very convivial get together on a lovely warm summers evening, looking round the gardens and chatting to like minded people.


Garden Visit to Thame Park 9th June 2016

Gardening Club members enjoyed a guided tour of the restored gardens of Thame Park.  They contain an extensive walled garden producing fruit and vegetables together with ornamental borders, a complex of glasshouses with a large rose arbour in the middle.  Within the grounds there is the private chapel and an 8-acre boating lake together with numerous modern scultures.

The house has 100 rooms, with monastic foundations this Georgian facade was added to create a grand private residence.  


Visit to the Lindengate Charity Garden, Monday 9th May

The Gardening Club visited the Lindengate Charity Garden, Worlds End near Wendover on Monday 9th May.  The team at Lindengate offers specilised gardening activities to help those with mental health needs in their recovery.  The five acre site has been planned with working areas, a pleasure garden to enjoy, polytunnels and a re-furbished building which acts as a classroom with a kitchen for preparing food from the garden.

Twenty one members enjoyed a short introduction to the site with a guided tour to explain the various working areas e.g. the kitchen gardens and allotments with greenhouses. The visit was rounded off with tea and biscuits; everyone was impressed with the work undertaken so far to help the “gardeners” progress their horticultural abilities and recover their self confidence.

For further details of the project please contact Elsie Frost on 01844 290768 or contact Lindengate direct –


Coach Visit to RHS Wisley Saturday 16th April

Our members and guests enjoyed a fine but chilly day strolling around the gardens at Wisley taking in the spring bulbs, flowering cherries and magnificent magnolias.


April Meeting Monday 11th

Nearly 40 members and guests of the Gardening Club were entertained with an ingriguing talk entitled "Death in the Garden" given by garden historian Michael Brown. He warned that the most toxic plants in the garden are foxgloves, monkshood and the castor oil plant. The picture shows a Datura "Angel Trumpets" which provides an hallucinogen popular with Victorian Ladies!  

Many plants are also irritants and the general advice is to wear gloves. Gloves or no gloves, always wash your hands thoroughly after gardening.

Gravetye Manor, Sussex 

AGM and Plant Photography Monday 7th March

At the AGM of the Gardening Club which took place on Monday 7th March, Chairman Elsie Frost reported that the Gardening Club has enjoyed another successful year with meetings and events well attended. Membership now stands at 60.

The AGM was followed by a talk on Garden Photography and Plant Portraits by Gill Ferguson, a keen photographer and knowledgeable plantsperson.  It provided members with many useful tips on producing memorable photographs demonstrated with some excellent shots of gardens from Kew to Marrakesh. It was received with great enthusiasm. 


February Meeting

The February meeting of the Gardening Club took place on Monday 1st February. The clubhouse was packed with around 40 members to listen to Rob Jacobs, the Manager of Waterperry Gardens take us “Behind the Scenes at Waterperry throughout the Year”.  He told us about all the jobs which need to be done in January and February to prepare for the delights of spring and the colourful flowers of summer. From October to December the garden needs repairing and preparing for the following year. 

Rob cleverly related these annual tasks at Waterperry to those which need to be done in our own gardens. His talk was greeted with great enthusiasm.


Annual Social Evening 2016

The Annual Social Evening of the Gardening Club took place on Monday, 11th January in the playing field clubhouse. A welcome drink was served followed by a presentation of Gardening Club Highlights in 2015. There was a delicious finger buffet; a fun quiz with prizes rounded off with a finale of gardening jokes and a reading of Rudyard Kipling's "The Glory of the Garden" by James Frost.

A great time was had by all! Many thanks to Rosemary Bradbury and the committee for a most enjoyable evening. 


November Meeting

The November meeting of the Gardening Club took place on Monday 9th. Our speaker was Brian Fisher, plantsman and garden writer who gave an all embracing talk on the popoular style of gardening known as “Cottage Gardening”.

His description covered the idyllic scene of a country cottage, with a brick path, honeysuckle over the door, with a rose trellis and period artefects such as a lead pump, an old mangle, etc. There could also be a pond, a seating area and a dovecote. Typical plants would be hollyhocks, Canterbury bells, asters and foxgloves. 


October Meeting

At the October meeting on Monday 12th John Negus a gardening journalist treated members to an entertaining evening of a slideshow depicting trees, shrubs and bulbs to plant for good displays of colour during the winter months. He also gave a sort of "quiz" and handed out seeds and different gardening products as prizes!

Everyone enjoyed the evening and agreed that John was one of the best speakers the Gardening Club had hosted over the years. 


Meeting on Monday 7th September

At the September meeting our speaker was Chris Day of Buckingham Nurseries who gave an all embracing talk on “Growing Flowers for Cutting”. 

Chris also judged this year's “Single Stem from your Garden” Competition. First prize went to Elsie Frost with a two-toned gladiolus named "Priscilla" and second prize to James Frost for a vibrant red rose.


Plant Stall at the Village Fete Saturday 12th July

The Plant Stall hosted by the Gardening Club raised the magnificent sum of £556.  Our appreciative thanks go to all those who donated plants, helped on the day and to everyone who bought the plants.  Thank you for your support.


Coton Manor Gardens, Northants July 2015

The weather and the gardens were perfect for our visit. The roses were at their best and the herbaceous borders provided a wonderful display of colour. There were interesting plants for sale and very tasty lunches served in the courtyard.

There are flamingos in the ponds and Rodney the Macaw creates a lot of amusement. It is well worth a visit.


May Meeting, Monday 18th

At the May meeting, Charlie Powell and Sian Chattle spoke about establishing Lindengate - a new charity in Wendover which aims to provide support to those dealing with mental health issues through nature and horticulture. It offers the building of self-esteem, social inclusion and skill development to all participants. 

Progress has been good and the site has been cleared. There is one large polytunnel for plants, a smaller one for crafts and painting, 5 greenhouses and a portakabin for the admin. They are conducting potato trials for Worlds End Nurseries, growing strawberries, vegetables and soft fruits as well as planning a wild life pond. Their produce and plants will be sold to raise funds.   


Spring Visit to Kingsbridge Farm, Steeple Claydon

On Thursday 30th April the Gardening Club visited Kingsbridge Farm near Steeple Claydon to enjoy the spring bulbs, plants and blossom in this stunning 6 acre garden.  30 members and guests strolled round the beautifully maintained grounds and enjoyed a delicious tea served in the tea room.


April Meeting, Monday 13th

The April meeting took place on Monday, 13th when Andrew Mikolajski, garden writer, gave “Seasonal Tips” about jobs which need to be done at this time of year. He recommended: slug control, buying good quality compost for containers, planting up begonis tubers, pruning forsythia after flowering, and new products - "Seed Blanket" to prevent damping off and "Grow Cube" in which to grow tomatoes.

The photograph shows the white bracts of the Handkerchief Tree (Davidia involucrata).    


March Meeting on Monday 9th

The March meeting took place on Monday 9th. The speaker was amateur botanist, Peter Sheasby who travels widely to photograph plants in their natural surroundings.  In his talk “The Flowers of Turkey” we discovered that many of our garden plants and bulbs originated from that part of the world.

Turkey has 8,000 species of flora, 35% of which are endemic due to the contrasts in the terrain and the different climatic zones. It was a very illuminating talk accompanied by good photography.


Snowdrop Afternoon 12th February 2015

Sixteen members braved the February chill to visit Sue Bedwell's garden in Bletchingdon, Oxon. to view her collection of snowdrops.  Her relatively small village garden was packed with additional winter plants such as hellebores, early irises, aconites and fragrant flowering shrubs such as daphnes and honeysuckle.


AGM and Coton Manor Gardens Monday 9th February

The AGM of the Gardening Club was held on Monday 9th February. Chairman Elsie Frost reported another successful year with well-attended meetings and events.

It was followed by a very enthusiatic talk on Coton Manor Gardens in Northants, given by Caroline Tait, a garden designer who also manages the nurseries at Coton.  The picture shows one of the luxuriant herbaceous borders, planted for colour and interest through the season.


Annual Social Evening January 2015

The Annual Social Evening was held on Monday 19th January, in the playing field clubhouse.  Members were treated to a Welcome Drink with smoked salmon canapes, followed by a presentation of the Highlights of the Gardening Club Year in 2014.  A delicious finger buffet was served with a fun gardening quiz.

The quiz was won by the team of Jaap and Jennifer Schram de Jong and Robert and Maureen Bates who almost achieved full marks.  At the end of the evening Jennifer thanked Elsie and the Committee for providing a good supper and a very entertaining evening.


December meeting

The December meeting of the Gardening Club took place on Monday 1st. Local amateur photographer, Beryl Hulbert gave an enjoyable slide presentation of Wildlife in a her Oakley garden throughout the year. Mulled wine and mince pies were served before the meeting which gave a festive feeling to the evening. 

Ilford Manor 

November meeting

The November meeting of the Gardening Club took place on Monday 10th.

James and Elsie Frost gave a presentation of the Gardens of Somerset and Wiltshire which will included 2 iconic gardens both Grade 1 listed, namely Iford Manor the home of Edwardian garden designer, Harold Peto and East Lambrook Manor, the “Home of Cottage Gardening” created by Margery Fish.


October meeting

The October meeting of the Gardening Club took place on Monday 13th. The speaker was microbiologist, Dr Sandy Primrose whose talk was entitled "Roses, Romans and the Renaissance".

Dr Primrose followed the history and development of roses from early specimens originating in Persia, China and Japan; they were highly prized by the Romans and are now extensively bred for fragrance, repeat flowering and good colour. His talk was intriguing, well-researched and presented. 


September meeting

The September meeting took place on Monday 8th September. Chris Day of Buckingham Nurseries and Garden Centre spoke on the topic of "Bulbs for All Seasons".

He kindly judged our second Single Stem from your Garden Competition and selected Gilly Cottman as the winner and John Moore runner-up.


Visit to Kingsbridge Farm, near Steeple Claydon

During July members enjoyed a garden visit to this wonderful garden created over 30 years by Mr and Mrs Aldous. It contains deep herbaceous borders, a collection of roses, shrubs ad trees set in less formal areas, together with features such as a summer house, a rose gazebo, and a vista overlooking the surrounding countryside. The visit was rounded off with a delicious tea; it was a really convivial and relaxing event. 


Cuddington Back Gardens Sunday 22nd June

Forty-five members and friends enjoyed a gentle walk round the vllage taking in several gardens kindly opened by fellow gardening enthusiasts.  They included The Old Thatch, Rose Tree Cottage, Box Tree Cottage, Cuddington Stores and Thornside.  Delicious cream teas were served at The Malt House, home of Tony and Yvette Digby - see photograph.  A superb afternoon and appreciative thanks to the garden owners.


May meeting

Brian Fisher, experienced gardener and plantsman, gave a comprehensive talk on "Climbing Plants in the Garden and Conservatory".  He discussed the definition of a climbing plant and described how they are divided into 2 groups - woody and non-woody. He warned against those that are too vigorous which should be avoided as well as displaying different types of supports and supporting structures.


April meeting : Wildlife Gardening

On Monday 7th April, our speaker for the evening was Stuart Mabbutt, a local wildlife gardening specialist, who recommended various ways in which we can encourage (desirable) wild life into our gardens.

He suggested having water, patches of bare soil, plant diversity and nectar rich plants. Having grasses of differing lengths, woodpiles and putting up bird boxes.

It was a very comprehensive and enjoyable talk.


Daffodil Walk at Hartwell House

Thirty one members and guests enjoyed a peaceful walk around the grounds of Hartwell House on Monday, 17th March on a wonderful spring afternoon.  Richard Jones, the Head Gardener, led us through the extensive parkland and the blanket of daffodils planted just after the Millenium.

Chris Chadwell 

March meeting

The speaker at the March meeting was Chris Chadwell, modern day plant hunter, travel photographer and botanist. He was speaking on the subject of "Gardens Flowers of Alaska and America's Pacific NW.

Last spring he undertook an extensive lecture tour visiting private and public gardens from Anchorage in Alaska to San Francisco taking in Vancouver and Denver, Colorado; his talk covered the plants he'd seen and the people he'd encountered.

Ascot House 

The AGM held on Monday 10th February

At the AGM which took place on Monday 10th February, Chairman Elsie Frost reported that the Gardening Club had enjoyed another successful year with events well-supported and membership healthy. It was followed by a talk "The Gardens of Ascott House, near Wing" given by Senior Gardener Vaughan Woodcock who has invited club members for a "behind the scenes" tour of the gardens in August.


Gardening Club Annual Social Evening 2014

The Annual Social Evening took place on Monday, 13th January at 7.30 pm in the Playing Field Clubhouse.  The evening commenced with a welcome drink with smoked salmon canapes followed by a slide show of “Highlights of the Gardening Club in 2013”.  A Finger Buffet was served accompanied by a fun quiz.

The photograph shows the winners of the quiz: Lynne and David Rhodes, Simon and Jean Barker and Les Sheldon together with Chairman, Elsie Frost.


Christmas Cream Tea Monday 2nd December

Thirty two members and guests enjoyed a Christmas Cream Tea at Waterperry Gardens. The tea was preceded by shopping and accompanied by much chatter.

The scones were delicious and it was a good opportunity to catch up with friends.  


Gardening Quiz Monday 11th November

John Moore prepared an enjoyable Gardening Quiz on Monday 11th November in the Clubhouse. The photograph shows the winning team named "The Wallflowers" being presented with their prizes by committee member, Yvette Digby .


September meeting

Rob Jacobs of Waterperry Gardens gave a very enthusiastic talk about the Long Border and  how to keep the continuation of colour throughout the summer and autumn.

The picture shows the winners of our "Single Stem from your Garden" Competition, Jaap Schram de Jong with a stem of Physalis (Chinese lanterns) and Lynne Rhodes with a David Austin rose "Princess Alexandra of Kent".  Rob Jacobs acted as judge.

Sudeley Castle 

Summer Activities 2013

A very successful Cheese and Wine Party was held on Monday 17th June at The Old Rectory. It was attended by 43 members and their guests. The Committee prepared delicious food and the weather was kind.

A Coach Outing was arranged to visit Sudeley Castle, Glos. on Sunday 30th June. The gardens were lovely and the exhitibitions very interesting. 

A garden visit to Adwell House, near Thame took place on Weds 17th July, one of the hottest afternoons of the year! Everyone enjoyed the beautiful grounds and tea on the terrace.

Gardening Forum

Held on 20th May the Gardening Forum was an informal evening with members discussing common problems and helpful suggestions. Topics discussed included the cross fertilisation of apple trees and hollies, colour in the border to cover the "May Gap" and how to revive an ailing bay tree. Jim Hayward addressed the meeting about the Britain in Bloom and Best Kept Village Competitions and how members can assist to maintain the attractiveness of the village. 

Chenies Manor 

April Events

The April meeting of the Gardening Club took place on Monday 8th when Christie Leary gave a talk on Planting Hanging Baskets and Containers for summer display.

Members enjoyed a garden visit to Chenies Manor on Tuesday, 23rd April in glorious sunshine.    


March Events

On Monday 4th March at 7.30 pm members enjoyed a talk entitled “Spring in South Africa” given by amateur botanist and photographer Peter Sheasby. With excellent photography of not only the wide range of flowers growing wild on the west coast of South Africa but also with shots of the wonderful scenery and wild life, the evening was very memorable. 

The Daffodil Walk in the grounds of Hartwell House arranged for Thursday 14th March has been postponed. The visit is being re-arranged. Contact Elsie on 01844 290768


The AGM held on Monday 4th February

Chairman, Elsie Frost reported another succesful year for the Gardening Club. Meetings and events were generally well supported and membership peaked at 82.

 It was followed by a talk “Spetchley Park Gardens Revisited” given by Tony Clear who for many years worked there as Assistant Head Gardener. These gardens are a Victorian paradise covering 30 acres; in addition to rose beds and herbaceous borders, there’s the Melon yard, magnolias fringe the Horse Pool and a vast collection of daffodils surround the lake.


The Annual Social Evening 7th January 2013

The Annual Social Evening took place on Monday, 7th January in the Playing Field Clubhouse and was attended by approx 48 members and guests.

A welcome drink and slideshow of the Highlights of the Club’s activities in 2012 was followed by a finger buffet and fun quiz.

There was a very friendly atmosphere and the occasion was enjoyed by all.


November and December events

On Monday 12th November Chairman, Elsie Frost presented a slide show of “Exceptional Gardens”. 

The picture shows the recently restored Trentham Gardens in Staffs.

Our Christmas Event was a "Browse Around" the Plant Centre at Waddesdon followed by a Cream Tea in the Glasshouse Cafe.

Delicious scones!


Is Gardening Good for you?

The last meeting of the Gardening Club took place on Monday 8th October when retired local GP, Dr Tony Maisey posed the question:“Is Gardening Good for You?” Dr Maisey covered a number of important points about taking care to avoid accidents when working in the garden and stressed the need to encourage children in all matters horticultural. The Plant Sale raised £24 in aid of club funds.

Members have planted 250 Carlton daffodils as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Year along parts of the Aylesbury Road and in Spicketts Lane.


A New Potato Champion

The Murphy Potatoes have now been weighed in our annual Potato Growing Competition.

1st prize for the Heaviest Crop went to Brenda Braybrook with a crop weighing 7 lb 6 oz with the runner-up being Robin Hood whose crop weighted 6 lb 3 oz.

1st Prize for the Heaviest Individual potato also went to Brenda with a potato weighing 14 oz and the runner up was Carol Jones with an 11 oz specimen. The variety of potato was “Harmony”.

The weather has been very difficult this summer which affected the results, but well done to everyone who took part and persevered.


The GC Plant Stall at the Village Fete 2012

The plant stall at the Village Fete this year was a fantastic success.

We have raised £633.85 which beats last year’s total of £605.

Our sincere thanks to all those who donated plants, helped set up and clear away and who manned the stall during the afternoon.

Well done everyone!


Summer Activities

To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee the Gardening Club has planted up the bed around the Best Kept Village Sign on the Upper Green in red, white and blue.  Red verbena, white cosmos and blue heliotrope.

To welcome our new Curate to the Benefice we presented Ian Herbert and his wife Beccy with a ceramic container of potted plants for the doorstep of their new home, 2 Church Close.


Visit to Homelands, Ellesborough

In June we continued our summer programme by visiting a garden in Ellesborough. This garden has evolved over many years and includes many interesting features with deep, well-stocked borders and some unusual plants.

Visit to the new Rothschild Archive Centre

In May we visited the new Rothschild Archive Centre at Windmill Hill, Waddesdon Manor.  Windmill Hill is a former dairy farm which has been stunningly converted into a contemporary complex designed by architect Stephen Marshall.  It houses the Rothschild family archives as well as contemporary works of art and furnishings.  We were escorted round the centre by Dr Sophie Piebenga who trained at Kew.  Sophie has been responsible for cataloguing the archive material which relates to the gardens and grounds of Waddesdon Manor and the Estate and she showed us some of these records.  

Batsford Aboretum 

Visit to Batsford Arboretum

On Saturday, 21st April, after a week of rain and torrential showers, members and friends enjoyed mainly sunshine for a stunning outing to Batsford Arboretum, near Moreton-in-Marsh.  Set in some 56 acres, the arboretum is designed on a south facing slope and is a “wild” garden of near natural planting.

Our reason for the visit in April was to experience the National Collection of Japanese flowering cherries in full blossom planted all over the arboretum together with magnificent magnolias.  Trees include giant redwoods, firs, spruce and rowans, birch, oaks and limes, with some rarer species.  The trees were under planted with wonderful hellebores, fritillaries, spring bulbs, wood anemones, primroses and coming into flower were bluebells and wild garlic.

Batsford is very visitor friendly.  There is a newly-built visitor centre which includes a good restaurant, well stocked plant centre and gift shop.  It is a marvellous setting and well worth a visit at any time of the year.